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City of Sydney Public Domain Furniture

Tzannes was commissioned by the City of Sydney Council to design a sophisticated, elegant new range of public domain furniture reflecting the city’s design focus, outdoor heritage and culture. The new furniture range references the forms of industrial folded and fashioned metal plate, elemental pared back timber and the strong contrast between light and shade that is a feature of the Sydney context.

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© Ben Guthrie

The Sydney Streets Code 2013 identifies the need for a coordinated suite of public domain furniture to unify the diverse public domain elements of the former City of Sydney, South Sydney and Leichhardt areas.  The City has engaged Tzannes Associates, with ABUD, to design and deliver a co-ordinated suite of public domain furniture that can work with the existing Smartpoles and JC Decaux elements.

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© Ben Guthrie

“Our aim was to create a distinctive family of elements expressing Sydney’s unique cultural and urban context. We drew inspiration from city’s maritime and industrial heritage – the riveted steel plates and columns of the Harbour Bridge, its maritime history and robust steel and wooden wharf structures – and the elegant, timeless quality of buildings, including the Sydney Opera House.” – Tzannes

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© Ben Guthrie

This elegant, robust suite of street furniture, comprising bench, waste bin, water bubbler, tree guard and bollard, is designed to reflect the heritage, culture and lifestyle of the city of Sydney. Although each of the public domain furniture elements has different functions, they all share the same, distinctive features such as industrial looking and folded stainless steel elements whose rounded curves display fascinating light effects. The design also plays with the strong contrast of light and shadow. The wood used is Australian native timber.

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© Ben Guthrie

“We believe public domain furniture is part of a city’s cultural identity. While it might seem small at the scale of a city, a system of coordinated furniture elements can reflect and form part of the city’s character, serving to enrich and connect its various parts together, conveying a sense of place. We strove to meet five conceptual goals in our designs: elegance, simplicity, clarity, integrity and legibility of form and function. The new furniture range references the forms of industrial folded and fashioned metal plate, elemental pared back timber and the strong contrast between light and shade that is a feature of the Sydney context.” – Tzannes

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© Ben Guthrie

Previously there was mix of outdated furniture across the city making ongoing servicing and maintenance inefficient. The range of new elements will be employed across the cities varied landscapes from the central business district, new urban developments, the new light rail upgrade to parks and surround suburbs. Our work co-exits, with and will ultimately replace, the existing street furniture range and fits comfortably with it, as well as adding a new dimension that is distinctive to Sydney.

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© Ben Guthrie

“With its beautiful and, at the same time, highly functional design that captures the heritage and lifestyle of Sydney, this range of public domain furniture seamlessly integrates into the city landscape.” – Statement by the jury / Red Dot Design Award

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© Ben Guthrie

The final public domain furniture designs have been incorporated into the Sydney Streets Code 2013, giving certainty to developers at Barangaroo and Green Square and greatly improving the appearance of city streets.

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© Ben Guthrie

Tzannes:

In 2012, Tzannes won a significant City of Sydney Council competition to design a sophisticated, elegant new range of public domain furniture reflecting the city’s design focus, outdoor heritage and culture.

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© Ben Guthrie

Tzannes believes public domain furniture contributes to a city’s distinctive identity and our aim was to create a family of elements reflecting Sydney’s unique cultural and urban context; inspired by the industrial elements common throughout the inner city, and uses the folded metal plate as the genesis of form for each of the elements.

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© Ben Guthrie

The range developed includes seating, garbage bins, bollards, pedestrian light poles, dining barriers, water fountains, tree guards/grate and signage pylons. Two suites of the furniture elements have been adopted by the City; a stainless steel suite for the city centre and a ‘bronze’ suite for the surrounding suburbs and ‘villages’.

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© Ben Guthrie


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© Ben Guthrie

The new furniture is being manufactured in Australia, by ABUD (Australian Built Urban Designs) an Australian owned & operated company located in Kurnell, New South Wales, which has more than 75 years of experience in crafting public domain objects. The range is being progressively introduced to the CBD and surrounding suburbs over three years, and will be used in significant new urban projects such as Green Square, Barrangaroo and the pedestrianisation of George Street.

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diagram – © Tzannes

Data:

Name: City of Sydney Public Domain Furniture
Type: Furniture Collection, Outdoor Furniture
Materials: metal plate, timber
Materials Combination: Wood + Metal, Eco / Recycled / Green
Dimensions: Varies
Colors: n/a
Year: 2013-2016

Awards:

  • 2016 – Red Dot Design Award – Category: Urban design and Public spaces – Winner
  • 2016 – Australian Good Design Award – Category: Product Design / Furniture and Lighting – Winner
  • 2016 – Australian Good Design Award – Category: Architectural Design / Urban Design and Public Spaces – Winner
  • 2016 – Australian Institute of Architects Awards – NSW Chapter Architecture Awards – Category: Urban design – Commendation

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: City of Sydney Council, Sydney, Australia
Furniture Designer: Tzannes – 63 Myrtle Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Sydney, Australia
Manufacturer: Australian Built Urban Designs (ABUD) – Oak Rd N, Kirrawee NSW 2232, Australia
Text Description: © Courtesy of Tzannes
Images: © Ben Guthrie

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City of Sydney Public Domain Furniture / Tzannes
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